New research showing that after just one mindfulness meditation session anxiety and cardiovascular risk decrease.
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY 2018
For the study, 14 participants with normal blood pressure AND high levels of anxiety were measured on factors related to cardiovascular functioning--including heart rate, blood pressure, aortic blood pressure (blood pressure in the aorta, specifically) and arterial stiffness--before and after a 60-minute guided introductory session of mindfulness meditation focusing on breathing and awareness of one's thoughts.
The results demonstrate that even a single, brief intervention can yield measurable improvements in people with anxiety. Researchers said most participants reported continuing to use mindfulness after the initial session and anxiety scores were reduced even further one week later.
According to the lead author, John J. Durocher, "Our results show a clear reduction in anxiety in the first hour after the meditation session, and our preliminary results suggest that anxiety was significantly lower one week after the meditation session. Participants also had reduced mechanical stress on their arteries an hour after the session. This could help to reduce stress on organs like the brain and kidneys and help prevent conditions such as high blood pressure. This study is different because we examined the effect of a single mindfulness meditation session on anxiety and cardiovascular outcomes, while other studies have examined the effect of several days or weeks of mindfulness meditation," Durocher said. "The results suggest that a single mindfulness meditation session may help to reduce cardiovascular risk in those with moderate anxiety."
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